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News & Politics News & Politics

Woman 'denied a termination' dies in hospital

Posted by on Nov. 14, 2012 at 6:29 PM
  • 33 Replies

KITTY HOLLAND and PAUL CULLEN, Health Correspondent

Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.

Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.

She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.

Intensive care 

The dead foetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on the 28th.

An autopsy carried out by Dr Grace Callagy two days later found she died of septicaemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL.

A hospital spokesman confirmed the Health Service Executive had begun an investigation while the hospital had also instigated an internal investigation. He said the hospital extended its sympathy to the family and friends of Ms Halappanavar but could not discuss the details of any individual case.

Speaking from Belgaum in the Karnataka region of southwest India, Mr Halappanavar said an internal examination was performed when she first presented.

“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

“That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

“The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”

Critically ill 

At lunchtime the foetal heart had stopped and Ms Halappanavar was brought to theatre to have the womb contents removed. “When she came out she was talking okay but she was very sick. That’s the last time I spoke to her.”

At 11 pm he got a call from the hospital. “They said they were shifting her to intensive care. Her heart and pulse were low, her temperature was high. She was sedated and critical but stable. She stayed stable on Friday but by 7pm on Saturday they said her heart, kidneys and liver weren’t functioning. She was critically ill. That night, we lost her.”

Mr Halappanavar took his wife’s body home on Thursday, November 1st, where she was cremated and laid to rest on November 3rd.

The hospital spokesman said that in general sudden hospital deaths were reported to the coroner. In the case of maternal deaths, a risk review of the case was carried out.

External experts were involved in this review and the family consulted on the terms of reference. They were also interviewed by the review team and given a copy of the report.

LINK

Well, at least there's never been a situation where aborting could save the mothers life.


Church of The Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessed be her holy hooves)

by on Nov. 14, 2012 at 6:29 PM
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Replies (1-10):
rockinmomnwife
by Member on Nov. 14, 2012 at 6:33 PM

How sad. They should allow abortions in cases where the mother could die.
 

Friday
by Platinum Member on Nov. 14, 2012 at 6:35 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting rockinmomnwife:

How sad. They should allow abortions in cases where the mother could die.
 

I agree but there are those who say no abortions ever or the ignorant ones who insist abortion never saves the mothers life.

I'm pro-choice but with restrictions, I don't support a free for all.


Church of The Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessed be her holy hooves)

JustCJ
by on Nov. 14, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I hope to one day become a midwife, and I understand a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) should be let to take it's course. The article said they refused because of a fetal heartbeat? But also said she was admitted for misscarrying? 

Edit: take its course if it's safe to do so.

JustCJ
by on Nov. 14, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I had to look it up but the article also said she died from Septicaemia and the definition I got was it was an infection from large amounts of bacteria that spills over into the blood. How would a live fetus cause that? I don't understand.

DSamuels
by Gold Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 12:05 AM
1 mom liked this

It also mentioned that they found ecoli during the autopsy. That itself could be fatal with or without the abortion. I agree it's heart-breaking. 

Quoting JustCJ:

I had to look it up but the article also said she died from Septicaemia and the definition I got was it was an infection from large amounts of bacteria that spills over into the blood. How would a live fetus cause that? I don't understand.


Friday
by Platinum Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 12:17 AM


Quoting JustCJ:

I had to look it up but the article also said she died from Septicaemia and the definition I got was it was an infection from large amounts of bacteria that spills over into the blood. How would a live fetus cause that? I don't understand.

I honestly don't know enough about such complications to make a guess. Hopefully someone will pop in with more info. One of my friends here is a NICU nurse so she might have an idea.


Church of The Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessed be her holy hooves)

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Huh? That comment doesn't even make sense.

Friday
by Platinum Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 1:26 AM


Quoting SallyMJ:

Huh? That comment doesn't even make sense.

Which comment?


Church of The Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessed be her holy hooves)

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 1:58 AM

Well, at least there's never been a situation where aborting could save the mothers life.

Quoting Friday:


Quoting SallyMJ:

Huh? That comment doesn't even make sense.

Which comment?


JustCJ
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 1:44 PM

I read in confessions (someone posted this there) that it's because she was dilated too long. I don't think that was it either and if it was...we have all (almost all) walked around a centimeter or two in the last weeks of our pregnancy. Another thing could be maybe her water was leaking? I don't know, but I don't think she got blood poisening from miscarrying..it's horrible though what happened, and in the United States if termination was imminent they would help the process along.

I would too and I call myslef a pro-lifer.

Quoting Friday:


Quoting JustCJ:

I had to look it up but the article also said she died from Septicaemia and the definition I got was it was an infection from large amounts of bacteria that spills over into the blood. How would a live fetus cause that? I don't understand.

I honestly don't know enough about such complications to make a guess. Hopefully someone will pop in with more info. One of my friends here is a NICU nurse so she might have an idea.


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